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Hullabaloo


Sunday, December 29, 2013

 
Benghazi!™

by digby

ICYMI, CBS News was named Misinformer of the year by Media Matters mostly (but not exclusively) for Lara Logan's 60 Minutes Benghazi hoax:
Even now, nearly two months after it aired, almost nothing about CBS News' "exclusive" (and infamous) 60 Minutes report on Benghazi makes sense. From conception, to execution, to the network's stubborn claims that the report met its high standards even as it publicly dissolved, the story on the Benghazi terror attack of 2012 quickly became a case study in how not to practice journalism on the national stage. And in how dangerous it is to lose sight of fair play and common sense when wielding the power and prestige of the country's most-watched news program.

The 60 Minutes Benghazi hoax had it all: a flimsy political premise featuring previously debunked myths, a correspondent with an established agenda, a blinding corporate conflict of interest, and an untrustworthy "witness" who apparently fabricated his story and had once reportedly asked a journalist to pay him for his information.
It's quite a cock-up, but the most surprising thing about it is that it came from CBS instead of what we used to think of as one of the Right Wing Noise Machine flagship organizations. Benghazi!™ is a story the right wing has flogged endlessly as Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton's 9/11 despite the fact that it made no sense whatsoever.

And how galling it must be to have this contradictory, epic investigative report on Benghazi hit the front page of the NY Times today:
Months of investigation by The New York Times, centered on extensive interviews with Libyans in Benghazi who had direct knowledge of the attack there and its context, turned up no evidence that Al Qaeda or other international terrorist groups had any role in the assault. The attack was led, instead, by fighters who had benefited directly from NATO’s extensive air power and logistics support during the uprising against Colonel Qaddafi. And contrary to claims by some members of Congress, it was fueled in large part by anger at an American-made video denigrating Islam.

A fuller accounting of the attacks suggests lessons for the United States that go well beyond Libya. It shows the risks of expecting American aid in a time of desperation to buy durable loyalty, and the difficulty of discerning friends from allies of convenience in a culture shaped by decades of anti-Western sentiment. Both are challenges now hanging over the American involvement in Syria’s civil conflict.

The attack also suggests that, as the threats from local militants around the region have multiplied, an intensive focus on combating Al Qaeda may distract from safeguarding American interests.
Once again it's revealed that the US military isn't a super-hero who can sweep in and save the day simply because we are a powerful nation with good intentions. The people who benefit often don't thank us for our trouble. In fact, for all out vaunted high tech intelligence we often get it all wrong and do more harm than good when we wage war or empower others to do it.  In fact, wars of choice are a blunt instrument that almost always makes things worse. Imagine that.


Update: If you thought the RWNM would accept the NYT's account lying down, think again. Nothing can shake their faith in Benghazi!™

Keep in mind that the author of this piece, Stephen Hayes, also wrote a book called The Connection: How Al Qaeda's Collaboration With Saddam Hussein Has Endangered America and was repeatedly cited by Dick Cheney as reliable.








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